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A magnetically levitated railway vehicle that would whisk 200 to 600 passengers between cities at up to 400 km/h is being developed in West Germany. The government has put its research and development money on a train that moves without touching the tracks. • Magnetic levitation is moderate in energy consumption. • It uses electrical power and is therefore not dependent on petrofuel exclusively. • It provides a smooth “ride” at high speed, without the bumps that wheeled vehicles encounter. • The system is quiet and requires a relatively light, unobtrusive elevated structure. Virtually the only sound is that of the vehicle rushing through the air. • Maintenance costs are low, because the only moving part in the locomotion system is the vehicle itself, and track wear is negligible.